7 Ways to Preserve Meat


Australians love their meat, Tasmanians in particular. According to AgriLabour TAS, Tasmanian meat production is set to soar in 2024. This upbeat outlook is due in part to an $8 million Australian government grant to Tasmanian meat processor, Tasmanian Quality Meats.

Tasmanians consume meat with just about every meal. Meat lovers think that a meal is just not a meal without meat, and meat is nutritious. It is one of the few foods that taste great and is good for you. Even game meat is gaining in popularity.

Did you ever stop to think about what would happen to that freezer or refrigerator full of meat if you lost power for a few days?

Below we list and briefly explain some alternatives other than refrigeration to preserve meat. Preserving meat without electricity takes more time and effort, but it may pay to learn some of them. More are listed here, https://urbansurvivalsite.com/ways-preserve-meat/.


Canning meat is a relatively popular preservation method. Done correctly, it can extend the shelf life of meat up to three years depending upon the type of meat and your climate and storage location.

Canning Process

Keep in mind that improperly canned meat can be poisonous. If it is not heated to at least 250 degrees, it will spoil. Use a pressure canning device.

Boiling water cannot get hot enough to destroy all the harmful microbes. The storage jars must also be airtight. Organisms need best refrigerated air dryers to grow, and the presence of even a little air can spoil the meat.

Step 1. Clean and sterilize the glass jars and lids you plan to store the meat in.

Step 2. Clean and dress the meat just like you do when you normally cook it. Take the time to cut the meat into smaller chunks.

Remember it is going into a jar. Since you are canning it, you may want to remove all the bones and gristle. Also remove most of the fat or all you can.

Step 3. Cook the meat. It does not need to be cooked fully through, but browning it creates a sort of protective seal for the individual chunks.

Step 4. Spoon the freshly browned meat into the jars. Add a half to a whole teaspoon of salt to the jar depending upon preference.

Do not pack the jars to the rim; leave some breathing room at the top, normally about a half inch to one inch.

Step 5. Pour four to six ounces of water into the still hot pan the meat was cooked. You may need to use more or less water depending on how much meat you are canning.

Use a spatula to scrape the pan from the bottom. This incorporates the pan juices. Pour an even amount of this water over the cans of meat.

Step 6. Screw on the lids and rims and follow the pressure canning instructions for cooking times and pressures. Remove the jars and allow to cool before storing them.

Salt Curing

Salt is an excellent preservative, and salt curing meat is not near as complicated as canning it. Salt curing works well with most meats including fish. It is also one of the oldest preservation methods.

Below are the steps for the meat box method for pork. Similar steps for different kinds of meat can be followed.

Since larger sections of the carcass can be salted, there is no need to cut the meat into the small, cube-sized pieces required for canning it. Cooking the meat is not necessary either, but you need to do this during cold weather.

Step 1. Rub salt over the sections of meat. Make sure you rub salt into the exposed, cut edges where there is no skin. Place the meat in small, cloth sacks or cheesecloth.

Step 2. Lay down a layer of salt in the salt box. Lay a layer of the meat, skin side down, on the salt. Cover the meat with a thin layer of salt. Add the next layer of meat and salt until all the meat is in the box and covered with salt.

Step 3. Leave the meat box in a cold, dark room for two or three weeks to allow the meat to cure.

Box Note: The box should be made of hardwood with air slits between the boards on all four sides. It must have small spaces about a quarter of an inch between the boards to allow cool air through so the meat can cure properly. Alternately, a reconditioned refrigerator without the power source can be used.

Sugar Curing

The sugar curing process is similar to the salt curing method. It is used to preserve pork primarily. Sugar curing recipes are plentiful. Basically, you combine sugar, salt, black pepper, boiled water that has cooled until all the heat is out of it.

Step 1. Place the bone-in sections of meat in the curing solution and leave it there for two weeks for the bigger pieces like whole shoulders and hams.

Step 2. Remove the meat from the curing barrel, put it in bags and hang in a cold, dark area. Allow to cure for at least 21 days before eating.


Drying meat is one of the simplest methods of meat preservation. The idea is to remove the water from the meat. You can use a dehydrator or regular stove oven and complete the task in no time.

Step 1. Slice the meat thinly. Flavor it according to taste.

Step 2. Lay the meat flat and do not overlap the pieces.

Step 3. Different kinds of stoves and dehydrators suggest temperature settings and drying. Follow your dehydrator or oven instructions for this process.


Smoking meat is a long, slow process, and you can’t rush it. A smoker designed for this process is used. Fruit woods and some hardwoods like hickory are burned slowly causing the wood to smoke heavily.

The meat is placed on a rack between the wood box and the chimney. The meat takes on the flavor of the wood smoke passing over it as it cooks slowly.

Step 1. Build the fire in the smoker. Give it time to warm up and start smoking heavily.

Step 2. Lay the meat on the grill and close it. Leave the meat on the rack. Do not open the grill frequently. Check the meat about every thirty minutes. Turn the meat as it gradually reaches the desired smoke flavor and doneness.


This method is similar to salt curing except it uses water with its salt. Various brining recipes call for a mixture of water and salt.

Step 1. Submerge and loosely cover the washed and prepared meat in the brine mixture.

Step 2. Leave it stored in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks.

Step 3. Remove the meat and store in a cool, dry place away from direct heat or light.


Yes, you read that correctly. Lard is rendered pork fat, and an excellent preservative. It coats the fully cooked meat, and it leaves no room for bacteria to invade and grow.

Step 1. Cook the meat just like you do to eat it.

Step 2. Place the prepared meat in a container. Cover the meat with lard. Store in a place cold enough to keep the lard solid.

Step 3. As you take out pieces of meat, do not leave the remaining meat exposed. Cover it over with the lard in the container.


Preserved meat, anyone? Choose your pleasure, but do not overindulge.

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